Verizon claims that going through local licensing authorities (city and towns) takes an average of 15 months to win approval and they want the state to stream-line that process to about 15 days by ending local licensing and giving it to the state. (Even better for Verizon, according the above article, they could conduct telecommunications “redlining” by allowing Verizon to offer fiber cable/internet to just certain neighborhoods in a community-no doubt offering fiber services to the rich neighborhoods and skipping over the less profitable neighborhoods?but I digress.)
I live in one of the 35 communities Verizon presently offers cable to-and I am a Verizon cable subscriber, currently saving about 30% off my combined cable, phone and Internet services I got with Comcast. I followed our local licensing process with Verizon very carefully and it did take us about 15 months from the time Verizon initially applied to the final approval.
BUT about 80% of the delay was all Verizon’s fault. It was obvious that Verizon dragged their feet waiting for federal legislation (the same legislation that included the “net neutrality” issue) that would have stripped licensing authority from both the local and state levels. After that went south last Spring, Verizon stalled last summer and filed a petition with the state’s Department of Telecommunications and Energy (DTE) to again give the DTE licensing authority. That effort failed and now they are trying legislation to give DTE final authority. All the while, Verizon drags their feet with local authorities-to prove their point that the local level takes to long!
There are merits to Verizon’s argument-just as there is merit to local authority, particularly when it comes to protecting local cable programming. But Verizon is so disingenuous to complain about the length of the local franchise process, when they are in fact the primary cause of the delay. (At least in my town.)
Frankly Verizon has no interest in engaging anyone when it comes to Authorizing Bodies and that should be expected, given the monopolistic culture they come from. I just hope people don’t get duped by these folks and realize they are being conned by Verizon